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Honoring distinguished service: Marshall and Tiernan inducted into AIM/R Hall of Fame

Organizations like AIM/R are much more than a community of today’s membership. They’re a reflection of all those who have come before, helped build the group’s foundation and added layers of knowledge and experience along the way.

Tom Tiernan, CPMR, (left) and Gregg Marshall, CPMR (right)
Tom Tiernan, CPMR, (left) and Gregg Marshall, CPMR (right)

AIM/R wanted a way to formally recognize — and memorialize — all of those contributions. Several years ago, they established the AIM/R Hall of Fame and announced the inaugural group. Since then, 12 were added. And during the AIM/R 46th Annual Conference, SVP of Industry and PR Brian Morgan of The Morgan Group introduced Tom Tiernan, CPMR, and Gregg Marshall, CPMR, as the newest inductees into this prestigious group.

“I am honored to be introducing these two gentlemen,” said Morgan. “Tom and Gregg were both very instrumental in AIM/R’s growth and helped elevate the group’s identity and respect within this industry.”

They also were very early proponents of CPMR certification, a rigorous three-year program that is often compared to a masters’ degree for reps. in the mid-1990s, Gregg was the first AIM/R member to complete the program and Tom was the second. At that time, most plumbing reps were not familiar with it.

“Thanks to the endeavors and example of reps like Gregg and Tom, quite a large percentage of our members have since earned the CPMR designation,” Morgan said. “It takes commitment and drive to take on a challenge like that, but I believe they’d all describe it as a tremendous benefit to their businesses.”

Gregg Marshall, CPMR, CSP, CMC, formerly with J.N. Marshall Inc.
AIM/R President 1998-1999

The first recipient got his start very similarly to many of the legacy stories within our association and industry. His dad started the J.N. Marshall agency in Colorado in 1949 and was joined by his brother in 1953. Gregg came on board in 1986 to primarily focus on operations and finance. They built a successful agency with multiple offices covering the Rockies region. J.N. Marshall became Marshall-Rodeno Associates when they merged with Rodeno & Associates in the early 2000s.

Throughout his career, Gregg had been actively involved with AIM/R, serving as Conference Chairman in Marco Island and President in 1998-1999. In being named to the Hall of Fame, Gregg reflected back on the four key cornerstones he had wanted to help the group accomplish:

  • Improve and increase the educational offerings of the association.
  • Take a more active role in the industry.
  • Promote the importance of the rep function across the industry.
  • Improve the committee structure and operations.

Well done, Gregg!

Tom Tiernan, CPMR, of Tom Tiernan & Associates
AIM/R President 2000-2001

Tom Tiernan, CPMR, was also inducted to the Hall of Fame this year. Based in Wisconsin, Tom Tiernan & Associates also covers Iowa, Minnesota and North and South Dakota. His son, Michael, has joined the firm and is now the third generation at the business. Tom served in the military during the Vietnam War and as he describes, was “patched up” by the Canadian Medical Team there. After returning home from service, he formed the agency in 1972. Former Haws executive Pat Kelly was one of the first who encouraged Tom to get involved with AIM/R.

“There was always so much good information that members could share between each other that really helped us grow our agencies,” Tom said. “Some of it was thought-provoking ‘open your eyes’ types of discussions while some others were everyday operational practices.” Tom said that the multi-track conference program AIM/R often offered for larger and smaller reps was a significant benefit for agencies like his that he considered small firms.

“I never had a ‘big’ line,” he said. “I was always trying to pick up new business anywhere. Some reps drive by potential business every day; I’m the one who always stopped my car. Looking back, I’m proud to say that we worked hard and had fun doing it.”

Congratulations, Tom!

The leadership, integrity, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of members like Tom and Gregg have helped AIM/R create real awareness across the supply channel about the important role of manufacturers’ reps in the sales and marketing process.

“In an era and an industry that are constantly changing and always ‘on the move,’ it’s important to remind ourselves that the AIM/R of today was built through the efforts of some very insightful, dedicated reps who believed in the value this association brought to their firms — and what it would bring to those who followed them,” emphasized Brian Morgan.

About AIM/R

The Association of Independent Manufacturers’/Representatives, Inc. (AIM/R) a trade association dedicated to enhancing the quality and value of independent sales representative agencies serving the plumbing, HVACR, kitchen & bath, waterworks and irrigation markets. AIM/R is the advocate and the voice of manufacturers’ representatives. The association delivers premier educational programs and opportunities to advance their knowledge, standing and professionalism; strengthens and diversifies AIM/R’s communication to members; develops future leadership within their agencies and the association; and actively grows membership to become even more inclusive industry-wide.

AIM/R Hall of Fame

Inaugural Class (2015)

  • Don Bass, Don Bass Company – AIM/R Past President 1973-1975
  • Mike Warren, Added Sales Company – AIM/R Past President 1976-1977
  • Grant Maples, Sr., Maple Sales & Service – Past President 1978-1980
  • Bob Woolf, Woolf-Harris, Inc. – Past President 1985-1986
  • Kirby Meagher, Sales Service Plus, Inc. – Past President 1990-1991
  • Kelly Michel, Michel Sales Company – Past President 1992-1993
  • Pete Lewnes, Preferred Sales, Inc. – Past President 2001-2002

Class of 2016

  • Larry Hobbs, CPMR The Carr Company – Past President 2002-2003
  • Paul Lunsford, CPMR, Manufacturers Marketing, Inc. – Past President 1999-2000
  • Jay S. Schechter, CPMR, Focus Sales, LLC – Past President 2003-2004

Class of 2017

  • John Clendenning, CPMR, J.R. Clendenning – Past President 1991-1992
  • Jack Eversoll, Cambridge-Lee Sales – Past President 1980-1981

Class of 2018

  • Gregg Marshall, CPMR, J.N Marshall/Marshall-Rodeno — Past President 1998 – 1999
  • Tom Tiernan, CPMR, Tiernan Sales & Marketing – Past President 2000 – 2001
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